Gone are the day of ground-shaking Junior Days for the Texas Longhorns, but the visitor list on Saturday in Austin was impressive enough given the inclement weather that kept at least one Metroplex prospect from attending the event.
The payoffs aren't immediate any more, there aren't any orchestrated Friday commitments from legacies or questionable offers to linebackers who end up as fullback.
Still, head coach Charlie Strong considered it a success:
Finished up a great Junior Day! Thanks to everyone who came to ATX! #HookEm— Charlie Strong (@Strong_TexasFB) February 28, 2015
The prospects arrived on campus and took the obligatory pictures, while also listening to Strong sell the program and journeying out to see the football stadium, making for pretty standard fare compared to what other programs do. The keys are giving the prospects who haven't visited a chance the opportunity to see the facilities and choosing a few key targets to officially add to the recruiting radar.
As a result of the latter process, four reported offers went out on Saturday:
- Rosenberg George Ranch running back Darius Anderson -- Thoughts on Anderson here.
- North Mesquite offensive tackle Jean Delance (Oklahoma commit) -- Couldn't attend due to weather, but picked up an offer anyway.
- Waco cornerback Eric Cuffee -- The three-star prospect picked up the third known offer to go out on Saturday.
- Wylie East athlete Aubrey White (Kansas commit) -- White reported an offer as an athlete/running back on Saturday, but there's some question about whether the staff really extended one to him.
Here's the list of confirmed visitors on the day:
- Rowlett quarterback Logan Bonner
- Arlington Lamar quarterback Shane Buechele (Texas commit)
- Houston Stratford running back Rakeem Boyd
- Katy running back Kyle Porter
- Houston King all-purpose back Trayveon Williams
- Fredericksburg (Virg.) Riverbend offensive tackle Zach Adams
- Trophy Club Byron Nelson offensive tackle Kellen Diesch
- Belton offensive tackle Zach Shackelford
- Copperas Cove offensive tackle JP Urquidez
- Mineola offensive lineman Austin Anderson
- Mineola offensive lineman Riley Anderson
- Fort Bend Hightower defensive tackle Darius Anderson
- Killeen Shoemaker defensive tackle Kendell Jones
- Austin LBJ defensive tackle Johnnie Williams
- Manor linebacker/defensive end Erick Fowler
- Cibolo Steele linebacker/defensive end Mark Jackson
- Gilmer linebacker Demarco Boyd (Texas commit)
- Manvel linebacker Jordan Carmouche
- New Orleans (La.) John Curtis linebacker Nate Evans
- Alief Elsik linebacker Dontavious Jackson
- Aldine Davis linebacker Jeffrey McCulloch
- Fort Bend Hightower cornerback Julian Chandler
- Waco La Vega cornerback Parrish Cobb
- College Station cornerback Rajah Preciado
- Alief Elsik safety Chris Brown
- Galena Park North Shore safety Eric Monroe
- Austin St. Andrew's athlete Blais Herman
- Katy Tompkins athlete Christian Wallace
And the prospects who did not attend or were not confirmed via Twitter:
- Potomac (Mary.) Bullis School quarterback Dwayne Haskins
- Beaumont Central running back Devwah Whaley
- West Mesquite wide receiver Dee Anderson (LSU commit)
- Waco La Vega wide receiver Brandon Benson
- Navasota wide receiver Tren'Davian Dickson
- Sachse wide receiver Devin Duvernay
- Manvel wide receiver Reggie Hemphill (Texas commit)
- Patterson (La.) wide receiver Mykel Jones
- Dallas First Baptist wide receiver Camron Williams
- Argyle tight end JC Chalk (Clemson commit)
- New Orleans (La.) John Curtis offensive tackle Willie Allen -- Went to Tulane instead. Bad news for Texas since he's not going to Tulane and decided not to come to Austin with his teammate.
- Manvel offensive tackle Austin Myers (TCU commit)
- Crosby offensive lineman Keenan Murphy
- Houston Westfield defensive tackle Ed Oliver
- Kountze cornerback Grayland Arnold (Baylor commit)
- Southlake Carroll cornerback Obi Eboh
Getting a number of Houston-area prospects on campus was significant for Texas. This picture features Dontavious Jackson, Jeffrey McCulloch, and Eric Monroe:
All four hold offers from the Longhorns and Monroe is a key target since North Shore is a pipeline school, he's friends with Texas basketball signee Kerwin Roach, and the other elite safeties in the state, Brandon Jones of Nacogdoches and Deontay Anderson of Manvel, both look like Texas A&M leans at this time.
As for the linebackers, with Demarco Boyd already in the fold and all the linebacker signees from the 2015 class, the Horns won't have many spots at the position and won't be able to take all three of the prospects pictured above unless the staff believes that Gilmer commit Demarco Boyd will play fullback in college instead of linebacker.
Carmouche has a nice skill set since he's good in coverage and as a blitzer, but he looks like he's not much over 6'0, so Jackson and McCulloch may be the top targets of the three. Offered recently, the rangy Manvel product sounds like he has Texas in the mix:
Manvel (TX) LB Jordan Carmouche (@itscarmouche) says he spent time w/ Coach Strong, BJ, & Robinson today. Says he likes Texas a lot.— Andrew King (@AndrewKingHorns) February 28, 2015
Jackson was high on Texas early in the process, but his offer was a long time coming compared to other top schools, so it was an important visit for him. Fortunately for Strong and his staff, it apparently went pretty well:
Andrew King (@AndrewKingHorns) February 28, 2015
A number of offensive linemen were on campus, including top target JP Urquidez, an offensive tackle from Copperas Cove. Considered a possible Baylor lean at this time (Urquidez has a picture in a Bears uniform as his background), Urquidez could make a decision in the near future, making his trip to Austin on Saturday all the more important:
4* OL JP Urquidez (@JP_OT2016) says today was a great overall experience and that he's built a very good relationship w/ Charlie Strong.— Andrew King (@AndrewKingHorns) February 28, 2015
Urquidez also offered the following earlier in the day:
From left to right, here's the talented group of offensive linemen that made it to campus -- Zach Shackelford, Austin Anderson, JP Urquidez, and Riley Anderson:
Neither of the Anderson twins have an offer at the time. Diesch does as a prospect with a build similar to former Texas offensive tackle Josh Cochran -- he's a lean guy who could be a hard gainer and may not have a lot of pure, natural strength.
In other (non) news, Kendell Jones is a freak of nature:
ESPN 300 DT Kendell Jones checked in at 6-4 and 364 pounds at Texas junior day. He's still 16. Wow. pic.twitter.com/GtJ2RbrGLD— Max Olson (@max_olson) February 28, 2015
The major weight gain over the last year suggests that Jones isn't quite at the absurdly low body-fat percentage he was in 2014, but it's still a virtual certainty that he carries the weight as well as anyone in the country.
In the defensive secondary, Christian Wallace could end up becoming a key target after his decommitment from TCU. As long as he takes care of business off the field, his size, speed and physicality make him a high-level prospect. Here's his take on the visit:
Today was good pic.twitter.com/ZKXrYDU7E1— Christian wallace. (@Kingwallace22) February 28, 2015
There are still some prospects that the Longhorns staff will work hard to get on campus this spring for a practice or the Orange-White game, but the Junior Day featured enough high-profile names to call it a success.